All I want for Christmas: A post about products feat. Caitlin Moran, Roseanne Barr and George at ASDA

I’m starting to feel festive. I’ve already had some mulled wine this week, I’ve already been to the Manchester Christmas Markets too and I’ve even tasted the delicious dollop of heaven that is a Mr Kipling White Frosted Fancy. Oosh, they’re divine.

So, with all this merriment and festive festivities going on, I thought it was about time to get my Christmas list in order. Here are some of the things on my wish list this year!

The Chronicles of Narmo by Caitlin Moran

After devourering How to be a Woman and Moranthology, I need more Moran in my life! I hope that her first novel (written when she was JUST 16) will fill this void in my life.

Roseannearchy by Roseanne Barr

I have been slightly more interested in this pot-smoking militant feminist since New York Magazine tweeted a link to a piece by the former sit-com writer and actress. The piece was amazing, honest, funny and sickening. Read the piece here:

She may be a little… bonkers, but I think Roseannearchy might be a rather good read.

The Empress’s New Clothes by Diane Von Furstenberg

Why not?

Mad Men, Series 2-5

I’m obsessed with just how sexy this series is. I need more. I need it now. (Well, for Christmas anyway)

Knits from George at Asda

For those that on Twitter recently, I’ve been really impressed with George at ASDA and their menswear range, particularly the South Dean Street line. Gotta love a chunky knit, haven’t you?


George at ASDA: A hidden gem at an out-of-town super centre near you

Well, imagine my surprise when after trundling past the freezers and biscuits to the George section of ASDA Manchester Eastlands, I found fashion’s best kept bargain-secret. I was looking for a grey cotton tee for the gym and instead I found some of my Winter wardrobe.

I’ve never given George at ASDA much consideration. It’s not because I’m some fashion snob, I’m certainly not flush enough with cash to be that. I believe in buying well and within your means and if that’s the best wool knit at Primark or a Scottish cashmere from Prada, its your prerogative. However, George at ASDA has always been the kind of place where you can buy t-shirts with Homer Simpson on them and trainers that come without a box but with their laces tied together. To be honest, whilst I understand the practicality of picking up some ham as well as some knickers, the whole thing does strike me as a little cheap. 

Still, whilst you can find these sad gimmicky Simpson themed atrocities at your local George, you can also find some bloody good buys too!

Now ladies, I’ve not had time to look beyond the lavender coloured Cami tops and statement plastic jewellery to see what’s on offer for you yet but for the boys, it’s quite exciting.

Adam nabbed this cool set, for just £12.00.,0.5,0,0&defaultimage=default_details_George_rd
Knitted Hat, £6.00, George at ASDA,0.5,0,0&defaultimage=default_details_George_rd

Fairisle Knitted Scarf, £6.00, George at ASDA

You have to love a bit of Nordic inspired cheese for any winter look.

I found this beautiful jumper for just £14.00!

South Dean Street Knit Jumper, £14.00, George at ASDA

It’s a really nice fit, not too baggy but not too tight. Its shoulders are rounded and the hem extends quite far down for a nice slouchy look.

Me in the George AW12 look


Christmas Adverts 2012: Making the ad breaks, unmissable

I do love a good advert, I really do. They get you talking, thinking, laughing, crying, they get you engaged with the magic talking light-box we stare at in our living rooms. They put media and the consumer into context in a way that escapist TV programmes try to avoid. 

Now, there is nothing quite like Christmas adverts. They’re filled with nostalgia, optimism, consumerism and mince pies (generally). Here is a brief round up of some of the top notch ads so far this year.

John Lewis: A Journey

John Lewis always go for tear-jerker at this time of year, 2012 is no exception. Watch, cry, repeat.

ASDA: Behind every Christmas, there’s Mum

An unexpected addition to the crop, from a brand more intrinsically linked with Christmas than most. Well, everyone eats at Christmas, don’t they?

Louis Vuitton: L’Invitation au Voyage

The music in this makes me want to walk around my flat in slo-mo, touching things seductively as if they have indepth meaning and significance. Enjoy…

Coca Cola: Holidays are Coming

It isn’t Christmas until you see the trucks. NOW THAT’S ADVERTISING.


Primarni no more: Primark Womenswear to join Selfridges Manchester Trafford

Well, didn’t you see this one coming? Primark unveiled its Menswear concession for the Manchester Trafford Selfridges store this time last year and now, womenswear wants to join in the fun. Hurrah.

I doubt your shocked, I’m certainly not. My secret sources on the inside have told me that the Menswear concession currently takes double what two premium menswear concessions, which currently sit within the same department, take. Imagine the numbers behind womenswear?

I have always been a huge supporter of the Primark concession at Selfridges, mainly because I can’t afford anything else in Selfridges. Well, not just that, I adore the Selfridges philosophy: the best under one roof and Primark is the best at what is does, fast-fashion interpretations of seasonal trends at ROCK BOTTOM prices so it should be included under the yellow fascia.

What do you think? @jordanjmcdowell


A story about a rucksack: My latest purchase from ASOS

I love a good online shopping session, a bit of ecom nom nom. You know what I mean, the gratification from popping lots of virtual things in your virtual shopping basket and going to the virtual checkout is a novelty not yet lost on me and I don’t expect it is on you either. I know these things. I work in ecom. *smug face*

I recently spent a small fortune on ASOS (so that I could qualify for free next day delivery and then send half the stuff back, like everyone does) After I had to create a NEW account because not only did I manage to lock ONE account for well over an hour (they lie when they say come back in half an hour) but I also locked the Boyf’s. Still, I got there eventually. 

There was 25% off men’s shirts, an offer I bought into well, there was also a couple of nice pieces in the clearance which I nabbed, all which you’ll read about in an upcoming post. Now, the unexpected star of the shop, the item I didn’t intend on buying but which I came across, by accident, in a click-a-thon of destiny. A red nylon rucksack.

This is quite a big deal because: A) I don’t wear rucksacks B) I don’t particularly go for this shade of red and C) I don’t often do nylon accessories unless it’s Halloween.

But, I have to say, it was love at first click. It was like everything you need in a rucksack, in one virtual grab.

I had the trunk of purchases shipped to my place of work, at just the time when my co-workers also had their latest ASOS shop delivered. Lunchtime came and we all opened our cardboard boxes. Out popped their designer buys for Christmas presents and out came my bargain basement bonuses, including, the red bag. I wasn’t quite prepared for the reaction my lovely little bag got from my co-workers, whilst clutching their Mulberrys and Wangs they cackled at my man-made monstrosity, “what is that? Baaaahahahaha….”

“But, why?” I whimpered from my desk, “why don’t you like it? It’s for my trip to Florida…” Well, that was like hairspray to a bonfire. They couldn’t contain themselves.

I’m not sure what reaction my little bundle of joy will attract on the street, not least on Main Street USA at Disney World, but I’m prepared for the backpack-lash and I will stand by my sack with all my might. You know why?

IT WAS £7.50!


Beautiful Boy: A ramble in defence of boys who pamper

I have always been one of those kinda guys. Y’know the kinda guys I mean, the kinda guys who have almost unnervingly neat eyebrows, who have skin, which glows with more exuberance than a swaddled babe and a who radiate a whole spectrum of whimsical scents, from peppermint toes to sandalwood armpits. Bottom line, I look after myself and enjoy doing so and guess what, I’m not the only one.

 Boys Allowed?

I have to admit, whilst I have more cosmetic products than my own mother, my regimes are pretty simple. I keep on top of my nails on a weekly basis, moisturise daily, exfoliate weekly, apply face masks when hungover and hair-remove before beachwear season. However, whether or not you think this is extreme or mundane, I’m just one of a whole squad of lads that are taking better care of their appearance. Call us metrosexual, call us pretty-boys, call us what ever you want (except Joey Essex) but we’re men of the millennium and we deserve our slice of the beauty industry.

Now, this ramble isn’t all coming from nowhere, I’ve had beef with beauty for a long time. What with the launch of the new concept in beauty retail by Harvey Nichols in Liverpool this week, beauty has never been so big. But it has also continued to exclude menfolk. Whilst I’ve written countless collumns on hair, skin and fake tan and even though I’ve been to more dayspas than football games I am still often disappointed when I discover that the industry isn’t quite ready for a manly invasion.

Case in point: I recently took advantage of a rather fabulous GroupOn voucher where I received a back massage, manicure, pedicure, facial and eyebrow wax at a local salon for the bargain price of £25.00! I excitedly booked my appointment and looked forward to some much needed TLC. What I received was quite different.

The graphics from the GroupOn voucher, man-friendly?

The therapist, as lovely as she was, wasn’t expecting a man. (This is one of the disadvantages of a unisex name like Jordan.) The poor girl was a little flustered when running through the nail polish colour options for my manicure, until I calmed her nerves and said that I’d be fine with a dab of cuticle oil and a buff. She was even more worried when it came to my eyebrows and resorted to ditching the wax in favour of the tweezers out of fear of making me look “gay”. In all the poor girl’s flurry she even forgot my pedicure, my tootsies will never forgive her. Basically, I received a less-than relaxing treatment all because of the fact that I am a man.

How are we ever to evolve into a more attractive species if 50% of the population are confronted with this kind of nonsense whenever we want a casual buff, rub and file?

Luckily, I have some suggestions:

Firstly, we need to ensure our therapists and beauticians are trained on male clients before they receive their qualifications because it isn’t fair to them and it isn’t fair on us.

Secondly, we need to either consider cleansing the word ‘beauty’ of some it’s feminine connotations, and make it more unisex, or come up with another word for men’s beautification. Perhaps MOT for Manly and Ordinary Treatments? Perhaps Aesthetics, like athletics only prettier? Whatever we do, we need to start broadening the vocabulary surrounding moisturiser and manicures because it’s ill-equipped to represent practises no longer reserved for females.

Thirdly, we need to get used to seeing men in treatment and encourage more demonstrations within our shopping centres and department stores, just like with women’s beauty. Harvey Nichols’ Beauty Bazaar has lead the way into recognising beauty as a stand-alone entity within the premium retail sector, perhaps it could also pioneer in making beauty one for the boys too?